What is a Holistic Doula? Nurturing Support in Birth and Beyond | with Krista Scetta

Navigating the world of birth support options may seem overwhelming, so I reached out to Krista Scetta, to find the answer to the question “What is a Holistic Doula” and learn more about how she supports birthing women and their partners.

See my interview with her below; her contact info is below if you’d like to reach out to her and see if she might be a good fit with your birth plan. A holistic doula could be a great addition to your birthing team.

What area do you service?
I am happy to travel all over the Durham region into Cobourg and the Kawarthas, the GTAA down into the Halton region

What sort of training do you have to be a holistic doula?
I am a trained holistic doula specializing in sacred energy work such as Reiki and meditation, with certification in the Science of Wellbeing from Yale University.

I am there with you through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

What is your main role?
As a holistic doula, my main role is to provide emotional, physical, informational, and spiritual support to women and families before, during, and after childbirth.

Krista is demonstrating how her doula clients would use the exercise ball to help find a position that eases the pain, as we answer the question "What is a holistic doula?"

What is a holistic doula? And how is it different than other doulas?

The main difference between a holistic doula and a regular doula lies in their approach to supporting mothers and families during childbirth. While both types of doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support, holistic doulas typically incorporate additional elements into their practice, such as spiritual or energy work, meditation, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, and other holistic modalities. 

While regular doulas, on the other hand, may focus more on traditional comfort measures, childbirth education, and advocating for the birthing person’s preferences within the medical system. While they still prioritize the emotional and physical well-being of their clients, they may not necessarily incorporate holistic or spiritual practices into their support. 

Ultimately, the difference lies in the range of techniques and approaches each doula utilizes to support their clients during the childbirth journey.

What would it look like to work with you?
My foundation is built on love, empathy, sympathy, humor, kindness, and calmness, I strive to create a supportive environment that prioritizes the emotional and physical well-being of parents. My true passion lies in helping individuals navigate every aspect of their pregnancy journey, providing a beacon of light during times of nervousness or worry. I am a good listener and I want you to feel heard and feel safe. 

What do you offer that is different/unique/rare?
I find fulfillment in enlightening women about the profound connection to nature that accompanies childbirth—the sacred journey from maiden to mother. Through exploring various labor stages and birthing positions, I empower women to embrace this transformative experience fully. Highlighting the vital role of supportive partners, I stress the importance of being true advocates during labor, and understanding their wives’ wishes through different phases and brain waves. I delve into the differences between hospital and home births, guiding individuals to choose what aligns best with their needs.

Following childbirth, I offer spiritual practices such as Closing of the Bones Ceremonies, aiding women in reclaiming their identity amidst new roles. Additionally, I assist couples in mediating conflicts that may arise during pregnancy, urging them to confront and conquer their fears to prevent misunderstandings during labor. It’s crucial for birthing parents to confront their fears honestly to ensure smooth communication and understanding during the birthing process.

Krista is helping a new mom by putting away dishes and tidying the kitchen. Beside that photo is a headshot of Krista.

Why should an expecting person/couple consider a holistic doula?
Doulas provide continuous emotional support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

I offer comfort measures and pain management techniques during labor and childbirth, such as massage, positioning suggestions, and breathing exercises. My presence can help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation and comfort.

I advocate for my clients’ wishes and preferences during childbirth, ensuring that their voices are heard and respected by medical professionals.

I offer education on topics such as labor and delivery, breastfeeding, newborn care, and postpartum recovery.

Overall, hiring a doula can enhance the birthing experience, improve birth outcomes, and provide valuable support to expecting individuals and couples as they navigate the journey to parenthood.

What is your favourite part of your job as a holistic doula?
Supporting strong women in birth. Showing them and empowering them to see how strong they are. Then watching beautiful souls come into this world makes me so happy. Watching parents come together and the love they have for one another. But most importantly families trusting me with such a unique time in their lives.

Krista is demonstrating a couple of the methods doulas use to keep their clients calm and distract from the pain of labour.

Can you share a story about a memorable moment you’ve shared with a client? 
Once, a mother faced pressure from her care providers to undergo a C-section due to her baby being breached. Seeking guidance, she turned to me. I encouraged her to trust her body and intuition, asking what she truly desired. She expressed her wish for a natural birth. Assuring her that there was no immediate danger to her baby, I suggested waiting. In the end, she patiently waited and successfully delivered her baby girl exactly as she had envisioned.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with any expecting and/or looking for support?
Ensure you have a trusted support team who will advocate for you and your family’s wishes. Trust your intuition, as it is powerful. Embrace the magic of however your baby enters the world. Be gentle with yourself and cherish the wondrous journey you are embarking on.

Here’s where you can find Krista:
Instagram @Hibiscusdoula
Facebook: Krista Scetta

Krista, a Durham Region doula, sits in a medatative pose using red light therapy.

Finding the right support people to have in the room with you during labour and childbirth is beneficial in so many ways. Hopefully today we helped answer the question “What is a holistic doula?” so you can make an informed decision on who you want on your support team.

As a photographer, I love supporting my clients with beautiful images of these cherished times. I have many clients whose maternity session I photographed, then their newborn baby, and then family sessions year after year as their little one (and sometimes their family) continues to grow. It would be an honour to do the same for you and your family. Visit my maternity page for more details.

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